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French and Riviera News Tuesday 16th January 2018

Local

Weather warning - Météo France has placed the Alpes-Maritimes department on a yellow weather alert due to strong winds. Corsica is on an orange weather alert where exceptionally strong winds are forecast similar to recent ones experienced during Storm Eleanor a couple of weeks ago. The alert is in place until 3pm this afternoon.

Prison staff block access - Trade unions have blocked access to the prisons of Grasse and Nice. The action was called following the assault last Thursday of three prison supervisors in Vendin-le-Vieil by a radicalised detainee. Prison staff are becoming increasingly concerned by what they consider to be a lack of security for their own safety in prisons. With protests continuing in prisons across France, the Minister of Justice, Nicole Belloubet, is today, expected at the prison of Vendin-le-Vieil (Pas-de-Calais).

Security Alert at Nice Train Station - A security alert at Nice main train station has been lifted. The alert was put in place on Monday late afternoon, after an abandoned bag was reported on one of the trains. Passengers were evacuated and firefighters and police intervened to secure the area later confirming that the content of the bag was “harmless”.

“The Black Widow of the Riviera” - A woman who has been dubbed "the Black Widow of the Riviera" has gone on trial in Nice, accused of seducing and poisoning four elderly men - two of whom died as a result. Patricia Dagorn, faces a life sentence if found guilty. Dagorn denies the charges. According to reports police believe Ms Dagorn met at least 20 men through a matchmaking agency between 2011 and 2012. She allegedly asked most of them for money, or to name her in their wills. 57 year old Dagorn is already serving a five-year prison term for fraud and theft.

Air France promotion – HOP! Air France has launched a flash promotion during the winter holidays. For two days, the company is selling tickets for 39 euros one way from Nice airport. The offer is valid for flights to Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. To benefit from these low prices, you must make your reservation between the 16th and 17th January. The offer is valid for travel between February 12th and March 11th, 2018. For more information go to www.hop.com or www.airfrance.fr.

Monaco’s Minister of State - Monaco’s Minister of State Serge Telle along with government officials delivered a New Year’s speech on Monday here in Monaco to  local and regional media. The traditional exchange gave Telle the opportunity to pinpoint priorities for 2018 and emphasis the important role of the media.

European Football Supercup - Nice is to compete with eight other cities to hold the European Football Supercup in 2020. UEFA will make its decision next May. Belfast and Porto are also in the running to host the event.

National

Calais - French President Emmanuel Macron is to visit Calais today. The French government is currently debating a bill to reform  migration policy. The visit has reportedly been boycotted by migrant aid associations.

Victoires de la Musique - French singer songwriter Étienne Daho, will receive a "Victory of Honor" at the upcoming Victoires de la Musique. Announced on Monday, the President, Natacha Krantz-Gobbi said "It's an honor to reward an artist's entire career, and this year we're going to honor Étienne Daho”. The singer has been nominated multiple times for the Victoires de la musique but has so far been a laureate only once. He received the prize for best "pop rock album" for The Invitation, in 2008. Before Etienne Daho, Serge Gainsbourg (1990), Renaud (2001), Johnny Hallyday (2009) and Charles Aznavour (2010) have all been awarded a "Victory of Honor".

Business

Thousands of small firms in the UK who’ve been working for the collapsed construction giant Carillion are waiting to find out if they’ll be paid.
Carillion had been using an extensive network of sub-contractors and local suppliers and had been paying them a total of nearly 1 billion pounds a year according to its latest annual report.
Britain’s second largest construction company collapsed on Monday with debts of around 1.5 billion pounds.It employed a total of 43,000 people including more than 20,000 in the UK.
There are calls for a public enquiry into what went wrong and why the British government kept awarding it contracts despite the fact that its mounting financial problems had been known for some time.

Airbus has said that it will cease making its A380 Superjumbo if it doesn’t get any more orders.
The firm’s sales director John Leahy says that Airbus will have to halt the programme if its main customer Emirates does not place another order.
He added that he was hopeful that a deal could be worked out.
Mr Leahy’s comments came after it was revealed that Airbus received more orders for planes than its rival Boeing last year.
It’s the fifth year in a row that the firm has beaten Boeing on plane orders.

And-The United Nations World Tourism Organisation says that Spain is set to replace the United States as the globe’s second most popular tourism destination with France retaining the top spot.
The UNWTO says that overall tourist arrivals increased by 7 percent last year to 1.3 billion.
It said that it expected the momentum to continue this year with industry growth of between 4 and 5 percent.
Spain attracted 82 million international visitors last year,up from 76 million in 2016.
Europe as a whole saw tourist numbers increase by 8 percent last year.

Sport

Football-Tributes have been paid to the former West Bromwich Albion and England star Cyrille Regis who’s died at the age of 59.
Regis was one of the first black players to break into the big time in English football and he suffered sometimes horrific racial abuse during his career in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.
He made 297 appearances for West Brom before moving to Coventry where he won the FA Cup in 1986 and he played 5 times for England.
The former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin said that Regis had been a “trailblazer” while former West Brom manager Ron Atkinson said that he was “the best centre forward but an even better bloke than he was a player”.

Manchester United are back up to second in the English Premier League following a 3-0 win over Stoke at Old Trafford.
There are 5 FA Cup 3rd round replays in England tonight.Leicester play Fleetwood Town.Mansfield Town play Cardiff City.Sheffield Wednesday face Carlisle United.West Ham play Shrewsbury and Reading play Stevenage.

Tennis-Johanna Konta is through to the second round of the Australian Open.
The British number one beat Madison Brengle of the United States 6-3 6-1.
Maria Sharapova is also through.The 5 time Grand Slam champion beat Tatjana Maria of Germany in three sets.

In the men’s event there have been 1st round wins for the 4th seed Alexander Zverev,the 7th seed David Goffin and Julien Benneteau of France but the 22nd seed Milos Rainoic of Canada is out.He was beaten by Lukas Lacko of Slovakia in four sets.

Cricket-Ben Stokes has been charged with affray following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub last September.
The Crown Prosecution Service told police that they could charge the England all rounder on Monday after looking at the evidence for the past 6 weeks.
Stokes,who says that he’s looking forward to defending himself is due to appear in court in Bristol on an as yet unspecified date.
His England future is being discussed at Lords today.

Rugby Union-The Ireland and Ulster wing Tommy Bowe has announced that he’ll retire at the end of the season.
Bowe has won 69 caps for Ireland after making his debut in 2004.He also played for the British and Irish Lions in 2009 and 2013.
The 33 year old picked up a shoulder injury earlier this season which ruled him out of selection for Ireland’s 6 Nations squad.Last night he said that this season would “be his last”.

Weather

Partially cloudy with a strong Mistral across the region gusting at up to 70 km/h.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 2 degrees on the coast and 10 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies and strong wind persisting.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies but remaining very windy with highs of 13- 15 degrees.

Finally 

Two heads really ARE better than one, confirm scientists When it comes to making a decision, or solving a puzzle, two heads really may be better than one.

A study has found the wisdom of crowds does exist, with a group of five people better able to answer questions than an individual.

The theory was tested with questions such as the height of the Eiffel tower and the number of emperors in the Roman Empire. 

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